A few years ago the people of Ontario elected Mike Harris and his “Progressive” conservative friends to be the government. The first time this happened I was disappointed but I figured that he had in fact misled a large proportion of the electorate by promising to lower taxes without cutting any services. Of course that isn’t exactly what happened as he and his buddies raped the province and cut services left right and centre leaving nearly every department depleted and all Ontario suffering to some extent.
Imagine then, my horror and disappointment when my province elected him again and allowed him to continue slashing the things our government did for all the citizens. (As an aside I note that lately the former teacher and golf pro is now on the board of Magna and earning about $750,000 a year but the shareholders are upset that he helped the wealthiest there to huge bonuses that of course come out of the pocket of all the shareholders. Some things never change.) At any rate I was forced to conclude that one of three things had happened. The population as a whole was in fact incredibly stupid and fell for the same line twice. The vote had been rigged. Or I was sorely out of step with what the rest of the population felt the government should be doing for the citizens.
Now I find myself feeling the same thing about a country that would elect Stevie Harper and give him a majority. Apparently not many Canadians find it despicable that his government was found in contempt of parliament. Many seem not to care that Tony Clement use the G8 G20 meetings as an excuse to feather his own nest and build arenas, gazebos and pave sidewalks in towns miles from the conferences.
It seems that my fellow citizens don’t find his obfuscation about how much things cost all the while talking about how prudent a financial manager he has been ludicrous and disgusting.
I expect that now with the power of a majority behind him he will let loose the right wing hard liners in his party and every Canadian will suffer in the long run. Our medical system will be opened up to more for pay services. Pensions will be at risk whenever a company or the government has to negotiate a new contract. The citizens through their representatives or directly will be lied to whenever he feels it is in his interest to hide the truth.
I worry especially that anyone who doesn’t fit his oh so narrow definition of what a “normal” Canadian is will find any services they need cut or tied up to the detriment of all. Judges will be neutered by minimum sentence laws and the senate may finally be gutted of any of its power.
Once again I am bewildered by the population voting for what I consider an abhorrent choice. I hope I’m wrong about what he will do and I believe Jack Layton will be much more effective critic than the Libs under Ignatieff ever were, but I find myself once again wondering how I became so different from the population of my country. I wonder if at the end of this term the people of Canada will be happy with the choice that was made yesterday. I suspect that at the end of this term I will not be happy with the direction Harper and his cronies take my country.